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Three things we learned from the LA Galaxy’s 3-2 win over Minnesota United

Mar 16, 2019; Carson, CA, USA; Minnesota United defender Ike Opara (3) battles for control against LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget (17) in the second half at Dignity Health Sports Park. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

The LA Galaxy narrowly defeated Minnesota United Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. Here are three things we learned from the 3-2 win:

Understanding the system

This was one of the Galaxy’s better matches over the course of the last several seasons. They played as a cohesive unit with a strong offensive-minded style. In the lead-up to the Galaxy’s second goal, they strung together a total of 25 passes before scoring. Head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s preferred style of play is coming through to his players, which can only mean good things moving forward. 

“At halftime I talked with the players, I said these 45 minutes were perfect, because we scored twice and we kept the ball, we played very offensive” Schelotto said after the match. “In the second half, maybe we gave them some advantage, but I am very happy because the team is growing, and they are getting my idea. And they can do it on the field.”

Stepping up

The Galaxy entered the match without two of their three Designated Players, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romain Alessandrini, who both had to miss the match due to injury. Their absence left room for other players to take the spotlight, especially on the offensive side. Joe Corona, in his first home match since joining the Galaxy earlier this month, combined well with midfield staples Jonathan Dos Santos and Sebastian Lletget. In years past, the Galaxy lacked depth to fill in for absences of that magnitude, but this was the first example of the team proving they could work through that struggle. 

One other player who made a huge impact was Uriel Antuna, who started up front for Ibrahimovic. He earned an assist on Lletget’s winning goal, and opened spaces for the Galaxy attack throughout the match.

“Of course, for [Uriel] Antuna, I am very happy for him, because he ran a lot and he could make a difference in front,” said Schelotto. “So, I think he’s very young, and he’s growing, and he will keep growing better if he can have games like today.”

Defensive struggles continue

The Galaxy went into halftime with a comfortable 2-0 lead over the Loons, but were unable to maintain the clean sheet for the entire match. Schelotto selected same starting four in defense (Jorgen Skjelvik, Diego Polenta, Daniel Steres and Rolf Feltscher) for each of the three matches so far and have yet to secure a shutout this season. Schelotto is likely to change his starting lineup in the near future if the concerns continue, or if he adds an additional reinforcements to the roster, as he has alluded to in several interviews. 

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